2017 Update: Due to a problem with Photobucket, see here, there will be a lot of recipes without photos. I will be slowly redoing the recipe pages, as best I can, but many other posts will be impossible to replace. I’m doing this in my own time, while continuing to update the blog with new recipes and posts. If you’d like to donate, any amount appreciated, you can do so here. The site will always be free, the recipes will never be locked behind a paywall, but this is a lot of additional work. I’m not demanding or begging, just putting it there so if you feel like repaying my hard work you have that option. I don’t make any money from the site, all that I do here is to help others, I couldn’t charge for that.
There’s no waste as the pulp went into the compost
I’m still learning how to properly make Jam, dear reader, but I think at this stage I’m willing to share a recipe with you and I feel confident that you’ll have success with it. I used this wonderful recipe as a guide and also the back of the Jam Sugar. Now, my version isn’t vegan, but I’m making the Jam that my Uncle used to make and I want to learn it the same way. There are many ways of making Jams, I can’t cover them all and I’m just learning myself, so I hope you’ll bear with me. I was lucky enough to be gifted some red and yellow raspberries, also some tayberries, which I planted some of in the hopes (Albeit slim) they’ll sprout, and thought some jelly was in order. I don’t like seeds as they just jam (Heh) into every single part of my teeth so I went for a jelly, which is confusing as jelly here is the gelatin set foodstuff, and very hard to find in stores. Which is another reason I’m making jelly, I like making foods you can’t buy or buy easily. Jam isn’t complicated, there’s a balance in the recipes, like all candy or sweets, sugar is a fickle ingredient, but if you take your time and practice you should be fine. I’m using the jam sugar here because it’s nearly a guaranteed set. In future I’ll be trying different set jams, apple is the forerunner, blackberries when they come into season.
That’s actually a candy thermometer , but the batteries are dead and I’m no good at using it.
There are a lot of steps and the final one is what I’d like to talk about. The sterilising method is up to you. I’m using my uncle’s method and I’ve found it useful, but you need to look at the methods available and decide for yourself and your storage timetable. Be safe. I’m using fresh raspberries, with a few frozen, but I don’t see why all frozen wouldn’t work just as well. I’m currently battling slugs in my strawberries, spittle-bugs too, more on that when I mix up my organic insect spray, so I will be working with mostly frozen fruit in future. The strawberries are so tender, there’s no trace of bitterness whatsoever. I’ll beat the bugs and hopefully make them into something special. The goal of yellow jam is still ongoing to.
The jam was jammy.
There are a few ways to test for setting. I like this one the frozen plate is fine by me. So, how did it taste? Did it set? Was it rock hard or jiggly like jelly? Did you even doubt ever wondrous Jack? I did, but apparently it turned out perfect. Thick and smooth. Really, really sweet, but that way you just need to use a little. You could use this jelly as a filling in baking to impart a lovely raspberry flavour, perhaps in a bakewell, eh? I’m currently looking at herbs in apple jelly, for savoury and sweet uses, but that’l be a later post. Involving methylated spirits. No, not in the jelly! It’s a way to test for the pectin in jellies, also a way to make pectin stock. See, your forever friend Jack isn’t as green as he is cabbage looking. I’ll see you again later, dear reader.
I wasn’t sure what the wax lids did. They slightly meld with the jam and keep air from spoiling it. You don’t need them, but it never hurts.
450g Jam Sugar
2 Tbsp Butter
1. Wash and prepare fruit. Place a small plate in the Freezer.
2. Add Fruit and Sugar to a large bottomed pot, filling no more than 1/3 full, and mash using a potato masher.
3. Cook uncovered on a low heat, do not let simmer, until Sugar has dissolved. Run spoon down the bottom of the pot to see if any Sugar crystals remain.
4. Place a metal sieve over a glass bowl and pour the mixture into the sieve, scrapping the pan as needed. Return the juice to the pot and return the pot to the heat.
5. Place the sieve over the pot and press the pulp through the sieve using a metal spoon until all possible pulp has passed through. Stir the mixture using a silicone or wooden spoon.
6. Add Butter to pot and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring as needed, then remove from heat and remove the plate from the freezer. Drop a little of the Jam onto the plate and if it firms up and is tacky to the touch then the Jam is ready. If not boil again for another minute and retest until Jam consistency is right.
7. Wet Clean Jars and heat in the microwave for one to two minutes until dry. While they sterilise soak the lids in boiling water for a minute or two. Pour the warm Jam into the prepared Jars while they’re hot and over with a wax lid then screw on lids and let rest at room temperature overnight.
8. Store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened.